Christmas has arrived early! Break out the gifts, commence caroling, and grab your paintbrush! No, we haven't lost our minds waiting for our son to arrive, Sarah is just extremely proactive! As I was demolishing the back deck and preparing for a massive Outdoor Living blog post (which you're getting a sneak-peak of in the above picture), Sarah was reclaiming some of the boards and re-purposing them into Christmas decor. We had seen this idea on a DIY Pinterest and decided we should give it a shot. Read more for the step-by-step approach on creating this beautiful DIY Christmas Tree for your holiday decor...
First thing's first, you need some wood. Preferably, try to find some old, worn pieces with a bit of character. As you know, character is supreme when it comes to DIY projects! These boards had nail holes, chips, and knots. Just make sure they aren't rotting...which would just be gross.
Thankfully, after tearing apart the deck we were able to reclaim some 1x6's (that's one inch by six inches - which actually measures a half inch by five and a half inches - for you home types) and a 1x2. Sarah measures the boards, made a line, and I cut them to length. For the DIY Christmas Tree trunk we wanted just a little showing at the bottom but nothing showing at the top.
We're big on purchasing sample paints to save money if we're working on smaller projects. For this piece of holiday decor, we went with Behr Winter Hedge. It's a beautiful spruce green, more pale and winter-like. The moment we saw it we both agreed it was whimsical and perfect! Two sample bottles was a little much though, since we only painted one side of the boards. You may get away with only one sample bottle if you're tight on funds - although the samples are only $2-$3 each and are paint and primer 2-in-1.
Since all of the boards had been sitting in dirt under an old, not working hot tub (learn how to remove a hot tub), Sarah gave them a nice scrub from the water hose using a jet setting. In the summer sun they dried quickly and it was on to the next step!
Gloves, sandpaper, and a strong will are now necessary! 120 grit is our sandpaper of choice because it's rough enough to get stubborn splinters and defects out of the way but fine enough to feel smooth to the touch. Sarah methodically sanded each board to make them touchable and child friendly.
As you can see above, no gloves needed to touch and quite a bit of character!
Once sanded, you'll need to wash them off again to make sure the paint won't clump up on dust. Besides, the paint needs to stick for a few months at least! Dry the wood off in the sun to save time.
This board is a bit crazy - and might be molded. I don't really know, I just do the hard labor. But, the picture makes it looks worse than it really is, if that makes you feel any better about it. :)
Although we do our best to keep painting or fumes out of our home, life is sort of dictated by the baby right now. And this baby wanted mommy to work late at night doing her DIY project. I hear it's normal. Any who, we carved out a bright corner in our kitchen (see our wonderful Keurig K-cup carousel? - Thanks Auntie!) and laid out the boards on cardboard. Most people use newspaper or sheets for painting but ever since we got married we've had so many random cardboard boxes around the house. We like to cut them up and use them for painting because they're so durable!
As always, house rules state masks must be worn whenever someone is painting. The fumes are too dangerous not too, especially with a baby on board!.Sarah's DIY Christmas Tree project is starting to take shape.
Sarah is always very careful not to smudge any paint. It's far better to wait until paint is dry than potentially create a gooey paint blob mistake. If you touch damp paint and create any bubbles or irregularities, you would need to sand it and paint over again. Not fun.
Beautiful work, hunny!
So, the paint is dry and the boards are ready for some more attention. In hindsight, we probably should have Spackled the paint holes first, then sanded, then painted. But it's not too much extra effort to Spackle afterwards. We like using the all-purpose miniature tubs and a Husky Spackling knife (that still has leftover sticky stuff from the label we tried pulling off).
Ten points for photography skills!
All of the holes have been spackled and now it's time to sand them down and repaint so we can assemble the Christmas tree.
Now here we unfortunately forgot to take pictures but Sarah used a small artist paintbrush to add the letters and with our powers combined we created a semi-symmetrical star to go on top. I attached the first four boards using Loctite super glue (which worked wonderfully but ran out) and connected the final two pieces using one screw each from the back, making sure the screw wouldn't stick out the front.
And now we have our first piece of holiday decor for the house! We plan to lean it out front against our home or pound it into the ground. Let's go Christmas, hurry up and get here already! To see how we've transformed the back deck even more than what you see above, wait for the Outdoor Living post! Merry Christmas everyone!